Application Reminder: Truman Bootstrap Award 2016

Applications are now being accepted for the Truman Bootstrap Award – Deadline 3pm on 1/29/16!


To introduce two qualified undergraduates interested in public service to the national policy process through an eight to nine weeks-long immersion experience with the Washington, D.C. offices of the Missouri Congressional delegation or other offices as appropriate.


Student interns will be assigned to governmental offices (legislative or administrative) and will work with identified mentors while there. The internship is to be completed during a full Summer Academic Session. Additionally, it provides the chance to meet and live in condos with interns from the other UM campuses, meet UM officials when they travel to Washington and possible opportunities to meet with past Truman Center speakers who are based in Washington. Examples of these are Don Ritchie, Historian of the U.S. Senate and Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News White House Correspondent, in addition to others.

Other highlights of the internship, as experienced by previous Truman Bootstrap Interns, are the opportunities to immerse oneself in the rich dynamic culture of our nation’s capital. Being an intern in Washington can be an exciting and rewarding experience, with an endless number of monuments and museums to visit, people from a variety of places to network with—and an amazing chance to involve oneself in the exciting and fast-paced daily life on Capitol Hill. To read more about our former interns and their life-changing experiences, visit the interns report archives.


The internships will be available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • • Full-time status at UMKC as a rising junior, meaning junior standing with at least 60 hours earned at the start of Fall Semester, 2015, or rising senior—including those seniors graduating in May or August of 2016. Applicants must have at least 15 hours completed at UMKC prior to January 1, 2016.
  • Minimum UMKC GPA of 3.25; and
  • Any academic major provided the student has had at least one American Government course at the college level. Preference will be given to those students with a demonstrated interest in public service and civic leadership.


The Truman Center is celebrating Harry Truman’s legacy of public service with a “Bootstrap Scholarship” award that will permit students who otherwise might not be able to do so to spend eight weeks in Washington, D.C.


Applicants are to submit an application that must contain:

  1. An ‘Essay of Interest in Government Service’ in which they describe why they believe they would benefit from this experience and how it would fit into their academic program and career plans.
  2.  In addition, they must provide a current UMKC transcript showing all courses through Fall 2016. They must provide a current resume and a statement that documents their need or worthiness for “Bootstrap” assistance.
  3. At least three letters of recommendation. At least two recommendations must be from instructors who know the student’s work at UMKC and one must be from someone who knows the student as a person outside the classroom – as an employee, community volunteer, athlete or from another role that the student has successfully fulfilled. This letter can come from off-campus or from such a person on campus if the student does not have an off-campus contact. The completed application portfolio with all required materials (essay, financial statement, letters of recommendation and evidence of full-time UMKC status for the Fall term) will be due in the Truman Center mail box, Room 302 Scofield Hall by January 29th, 2016, at 3 PM. Questions? Contact Gayla Curtis at 816-235-2720 or by email.


Applications will be reviewed by a committee associated with UMKC and the Truman Center. Applicants may be asked in for an interview. Successful applicants will be notified by March 1, 2016.


Students selected to participate in this internship opportunity will be required to do the following:

  • Attend at least two and possibly more pre-departure meetings on the UMKC campus to discuss the required reading and the internship expectations. These will include an orientation that covers health/safety issues and pointers on appropriate behavior when working in a professional office setting, among other things.
  • Enroll for three credit hours at UMKC in a political science off-campus internship course (in consultation with the Political Science Department and the Truman Center) for credit during Summer, 2016;
  • Upon returning to campus, interns will need to be prepared to discuss their experience with the media and at future Truman Center events as well as do so in a write up for the Truman Center website;
  • A graded reading and writing assignment will be required, with details in the course syllabus.

Participating students will receive 3 credits in Political Science upon successful completion of all requirements of the internship.

  • The UMKC faculty mentor will be one with expertise on the office or institution in which the student interns, will oversee the academic portion of the internship and will be appointed by the Director of the Truman Center. Interns will reside in approved UM system intern housing in Washington. Additional information will be provided after the interns are selected. Interns will be mentored in Washington by persons affiliated with the UM system in addition to those available in the offices to which they are assigned.


UMKC and the Truman Center will provide a scholarship and other forms of assistance to each student to cover the following expenses associated with the internships:

  • We will purchase the required book; provide 3 credit hours of undergraduate educational fee remission at current UMKC rates for residents for Summer Session, 2016; pre-pay lodging; reimburse for meals and incidental expenses (to a maximum of $1,000)—All expenses must have receipts to get reimbursed; and purchase round-trip airfare coach/baggage allotment (to a maximum of $450).

The student interns will be responsible for any additional money they might need for transportation, living and other incidental expenses incurred (beyond those covered) while in Washington and for changes made to air itinerary after the ticket has been purchased.


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